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I fully understand about Windows XP. I'm disappointed about OS X 10.7 and 10.8, because many users with older (but still perfectly functional!) Mac hardware are stuck on those versions 4-5 years after their release because Apple won't extend support for newer OS X versions to that hardware. Apple also refuses to provide a way to upgrade a system to the maximum OS X version it supports; it's a huge hassle to do so.

Looking at system requirements I don't see many models dropped between 10.8 and 10.9 (and 10.11 supports same models as 10.9).

Dropping of 10.7 cuts off machines from 2006. That'll be about 10 years of support, which isn't too bad IMHO.

In fact, the supported list for 10.7 and 10.8 are the same too. There are no 13-inch MacBook Pro models before 2009.

*10.8 and 10.9

It also kills off the 2008 Macbook. Apple ditched 2008 Macbooks within 4 years support-wise and left them stuck on 10.7. This was due to the 2012 release of 10.8 as 64-bit only and the cheap GPU in the 2008 Macbook only having 32-bit drivers. This is one of the reasons my girlfriend is now on a Windows machine. Paying a premium for a laptop and having it not able to run the operating system released just 4 years later was kind of absurd. The flaky motherboard played a role, too.

It affects machines from later than '06: I have a mid-2007 silver Macbrook Pro which allegedly should support 10.11, but which I can't actually upgrade past 10.7. Even getting it to 10.7 was a huge hassle because Apple doesn't make it available anywhere.

Well then it's Apple abandoning you, not Google. Your machine is lacking a ton of security fixes anyway, it's well past time to upgrade.

I have one of the original (SSD even!) Macbook Airs from early 2008 that isn't supported past 10.7.

I know it's a notoriously underpowered machine, but it still would have been nice to get more than 4.5 years of supported OS updates. Still perfectly functional as a portable secondary machine for mail, notes, terminal and light Chrome browsing.

Apparently they didn't want to continue to support 32-bit EFI.

Incidentally, Google is promising Chrome releases for 5 years from shipping for each Chromebook.

The first hit is this page:


which says you can upgrade directly. What goes wrong? I upgraded 10.5 to latest 10.5 then bought 10.6 in store and got to 10.6.8 a year or so ago. I recently upgraded another machine to 10.6.8 too.

I find free, smooth upgrades (not just updates) for a decade to be pretty good but guess you are having problems with "smooth".

It depends on your Mac. The 2008 Macbook was abandoned within 4 years by Apple OS-wise and couldn't run Mac OS X released in 2012.

The white plastic MacBooks from early 2008 can't run 10.8, only four years after release.

Is Apple even maintaining these versions? I don't believe POODLE was patched for 10.7, which was already a year ago (http://www.tomsguide.com/us/apple-yosemite-patch,news-19799....). That would suggest 10.8 is on the way out too, if not already.

I don't think it's reasonable to expect third parties to support versions which the platform owner has deprecated.

I totally get this, but Apple made a conscious decision to not support 32bit machines. While it does suck to be caught on that border, they've done a tremendous job of supporting machines from that era that are 64 bit capable.

I don't think anyone should fault them for making that hard decision.

They first dropped support for all 32-bit only machines with Lion, then some 64-bit machines (including I think all 945 chipset machines that have only 32-bit physical addressing) with Mountain Lion.

I know that in the past, when you fought to upgrade a machine past Apple's recommendations, you could end up with a machine that was technically working, but so slow it was practically unusable.

It's possibly the case that Apple's lack of upgrade support is a feature, not a bug (though it introduces the complexity of eventual lack of security support).

That makes sense, except:

1) It's up to the user to decide whether a machine is usable for their needs or not, not Apple.

2) Locking users in at an older version and then refusing to support that version even just 3 years after it's come out is just too short a time window.

3) Offering no way for users who need an old version to get it except illegally is a non-starter for any purpose, security or not, again, because 3 years old is just not old enough to so completely phase it out.

While I agree that lack of usability is a concern, it seems to me that between lack of upgrade-ability, short OS version lifespans, and early phaseouts of old versions, Apple is intentionally forcing users to consistently upgrade once every 3-4 years at most. Fine business model, terrible for the end user, and a real detriment to Apple for me personally when the competition doesn't behave that way to that extent.

>It's up to the user to decide whether a machine is usable for their needs or not, not Apple.

Well yes, but it is also a business decision. Further supporting an old machine with a changing toolchain means additional costs for development, testing and troubleshooting. Those are costs that Apple has to bear.

I won't contest your point that 3-4 years is too early, just saying that there's more to supporting old hardware than just including the same drivers as in the last release.

You're absolutely right, but at the same time, if something WILL work but may not work optimally (or may not be supported for business reasons), I think it's more appropriate to say "hey, this is not recommended and if you do it you're on your own" than "you may not do this, no matter how well you know the risks." Apple chooses the latter path.

In particular, Mac OS X don't even run well with only 4GB of RAM anymore, and older machines use DDR2 where 4GB SO-DIMMs (and any other sticks based on 2Gbit DDR2) are rare and expensive. I wonder what is the current status of this bug BTW: http://apple.stackexchange.com/questions/42426/can-i-upgrade...

I've upgraded 4GB 2007 iMac to Mavericks and it worked very well (for its age).

Mavericks introduced RAM compression, so for RAM-constrained machines it may be even better than the previous OS.

> In particular, Mac OS X don't even run well with only 4GB of RAM anymore

It actually runs great. I'm using a 2011 Air w/2GB (cheapest back then) and El Capitan and it's almost as fast as my 24GB Mac Pro.

I push it a bit with Logic Pro X + drum samples (for my V-Drums), but it handles that without complaints. But for web, videos and programming there isn't much of a difference.

But note that the Air has a SSD.

Why not install Windows or GNU/Linux on such Mac hardware?

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